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Monday, September 26, 2005

Squeezing Blood Out of a Turnip

We just got the bill for Averie's foot surgery AND Averie's appendectomy. Together, we're looking at $25,000. The charges are "pending" payment until we can prove to the insurance company that she is financially dependent upon us. Charlie and I laugh at that. She's lucky we love her as much as we do, or I'd just put her on the doorstep of the hospital with a note pinned to her backpack that says: Too Expensive. Just Keep Her.

Friday, September 23, 2005

It's Tiki Time!

Yeah, this is a little overdue. The big to-do happened all during the time we were dealing with Averie's appendix attack. I was running back and forth trying to help out with our event at work, but my boss, being the wonderful person that he is, told me to go and concentrate on my daughter. I love this man. After years of dealing with asshat employers, it's such a good feeling to be able to go to a place that I like with people that I like being with. It restores my faith in the work world.

So, we had a big parking lot/anniversary sale over the Labor Day weekend. Great guy with the Aloha Spirit that he is, the boss decided to make it a luau. He had rockin' entertainment, ono ono food, and tikis galore. He raffled off a 6 ft tiki and opened a shave ice hut, all the proceeds going to the Red Cross for hurricane relief. We have another tiki in the House of Tiki that he's also raffling off on Sept. 30.

At the same time, my boss donated a bunch of stuff to an organization called HomeAid's Project Playhouse. This is a yearly event to help raise money to provide shelter for the county's homeless. Two different companies involved in the event decided to create beach-themed tiki houses and came to Wes for help. Charlie and I went to see the playhouses over the weekend and took pictures of the tiki huts since Wes was out of town and couldn't go himself. At the end of the month, they'll auction the finished houses off and all the money will go to HomeAid. If you're in the OC, take a spin over to Fashion Island in Newport Beach and check out all of the playhouses. Some are just incredible, and it's for a great cause!

Oh, and to all my puck-nut buds out there...I'm hitting my first game tonight! Ducks v. Phoenix. Yeah, so it's Disney hockey. It's hockey!

The House of Tiki "Shaka" Tiki Posted by Picasa

More Tikis and Stuff Posted by Picasa

Great Music by The Smokin' Menehunes Posted by Picasa

Shave Ice for the masses... Posted by Picasa

Mmmmmm...Onolicious! Posted by Picasa

Project Playhouse Tiki Hut 2 Posted by Picasa

Project Playhouse Tiki Treehouse 1 Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Ha! Finally...My Turn!

Mr. Mardi Gras Posted by Picasa

Whatever happened to wearing your Sunday best to the school dance?

SURPRISE! An iPod! Posted by Picasa

The beginning of the end of my hogging the computer...

Jason & The Birthday Girl Posted by Picasa

Cute couple, nice evening, I especially liked the....Hey, is that candy?...

After the storm, safe and sound. Posted by Picasa

Trying to pry her out of those pillows was a task in itself!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


There've been a few milestones taking place around the hale (house). I'd love to be able to SHOW them to you, but unfortunately, the cable port from the computer to my camera has been replaced by an iPod cable. Averie's birthday present has put a hold on my picture loading capabilities. NO, you Smartbutts, I can't put it back myself because...oh, it's a long damn story and completely uninteresting. Suffice it to say, that fracking little piece of technology holds 1,000 damn songs, so my pics (and you) will have to wait and you'll just have to read about them for now instead of SEE them.

Bryson went to his first dance as a sophomore last Friday. The "theme" was self-stated. In other words, the students were allowed to choose their own personal themes. Bryson's theme was "A Tribute to New Orleans". He took a bunch of the beads that my friend Chris sent me from Mardi Gras and decided that he would give away a strand a dance. I told him that as long as he kept it to dances, that would be fine. I hardly want to get a call from the principal that my son is trying to get girls to flash him. Turns out his "tribute" was a huge success. According to Caris, the Grommet is quite the "pimp" and was surrounded by the ladies all night long. She said everytime she turned around at the dance she'd see girls walking around with Mardi Gras beads. She then told us that we'd better keep an eye on him....he's a little TOO popular with the girls. Bryson thought that had he collected a buck for beads instead of a dance a strand, he might have well ended up with around $100 to donate to hurricane relief. Unfortunately, he didn't think the faculty would understand that that was really what he was doing. Oh well, good thought. He came home beadless, but smiling.

Averie's 20th birthday was Sunday, and as you've already read, she received an iPod. Bry, Caris, Averie's boyfriend Jason, Charlie and I all pooled funds together and got it for her. With things being as tight as they've been, she said she really wasn't expecting much (bless her heart). So she was especially surprised and VERY excited to be getting something that's she's wanted for a couple of years now. I made her some leis out of her two favorite candies; gummy bears and yogurt raisins, which were a big hit with people. It made me wonder if I should be selling them. People seemed to like them so much and asked if I could make some for their friends as gifts. Hmmmm...perhaps a new cottage industry that Lokelani and I can add to our nut biz? Anyway, it was a restrospective kind of day for Charlie and I. Here, our "baby girl", our first-born, was 20. She'd turned our "two-ness" into a FAMILY when she arrived in our world and changed our lives forever. For the better. Happy Birthday Aves. I love you AND the person that you are. Now finish downloading your music so I can post pics! ;)

The long-awaited premier of "Surface" was last night. Long-awaited because Caris and her friend Taryn worked on set as background talent for the pilot. So, as usual, we got the VCR ready and popped in a brand new tape and the family gathered around the tv at the designated time. However, Mother Nature had a bit of a different plan. We had a helluva thunder and lightning storm. One that reminded me of the storms we experienced in the midwest. The kind where the thunder shook the walls and set off car alarms. The kind where the lightning lit up the dark like day. The kind that Ellie had never known and as a result was so scared she literally wet herself all over my couches, our laps, the carpet, wherever she was. Poor dog, she didn't even find comfort when she ran cowering into her crate.

When the storm did calm down long enough for us to catch a glimpse of Caris and Taryn's scene, all we got was a split-second of the tops of both their heads. Ahhh, such is the life of a background artist. Good thing for video tapes. We can rewind and play again and again while we point and say; "don't blink or you'll miss her!" to family and friends. After the giggles, we went back to caring for our scared out of her mind puppy. Needless to say, it was very crowded in Charlie's and my bed last night.

My sister Loke left this morning to fly to Hawaii. My dad is still in the hospital and we decided between us to go over separately and help relieve our sisters over there of some of their "parent duties". So Loke will go this week, and when she comes back, I will go over the middle of next month to help out. I have to borrow the money from my Mum-in-law, but I didn't give asking her a second thought. I'll do what I have to do to go. It's too important to let pride get in the way. My older sister Mahea and my younger sister Ulu were both so grateful that Loke and I could come and give them a break. Taking care of Mom and Dad has taken a toll on them. I know how it is with us taking care of Charlie's mom over these past couple of years. It's hard, and sometimes you just need a breather. Besides, I'm so happy to be able to do something. Anything.

I'm opening the shop for the first time, by myself today. I'm nervous but excited. And I better get my butt in gear and hele on (go!). Milestones.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Hauoli La Hanau Mom

Mom & Dad 1950 Posted by Picasa

Today is my birth mother's birthday. The significance of this is not lost on me. She's only been a part of my life for a little over a year now, but really we've been a part of each other's lives for the WHOLE of my life.

I still get shivers when I think about the fact that I was born only one week before her own birthday. After we met, one of my sisters told me that, upon reflection, Mom always seemed a little sad on her birthday but no one knew quite why. God bless her, she was sworn to secrecy. I can't imagine giving up my baby at all, let alone giving up my baby so close to my own birthday. Yet I know she did what she had to do. It's complicated, and emotional, but I understand, and I love her for her sacrifice. It wasn't just me; in love and concern for our welfare, she gave up my sister Loke, and my brother Lono as well. How do you care for 14 children without help? I bet when their birthdays came, she would think of them as well with each passing year. Our stories are so different in so many ways, but alike in so many others.

I'm one of the lucky ones. I have a happy ending to my story. The family that I was estranged from are no longer strangers to me. They embraced me though they knew nothing about me until just last year. I was a surprise to them, but now, it's as if I had always been there. I love them for that and so much more.

Happy Birthday Mom. Thank you for having me.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Welcome Home

I have to tell you; it's was a pretty quiet weekend. My chest hurts. Mostly because I think I've been holding my breath since last Friday. That's probably a side effect of having too many weird weeks and weekends in a row. From Averie's needle in the foot escapade, to Averie's appendix, to Charlie's job worries, to the Mum-in-law's health and home stuff, to learning that my dad's been in the hospital back in Hawaii, it's just been one thing after another. I was afraid to leave the house. And the funny thing was; I really didn't want to. So, I exhaled around afternoon on Saturday, thinking it was probably safe by then. Lo and behold, I was right. No emergency room drama. Just quiet. Blissful quiet.

Yesterday before work, a place I look forward to going to everyday (amazing, isn't it?), I checked my email and found a note that made me smile. It was a cool breeze on a sultry day. It appears the prodigal son has "come home". I know that he was sorely missed around the Blogdom. Even though I know I had nothing to do with the timing of his "return", I like to think of it as a belated birthday present to me. After all, I'm of the mindset these days that birthdays should last for at least a week. A far cry from my thought processes last year when I would have rather crawled into a hole until it was over. Welcome home Kuuipo. It's good to "see" you again. You're looking fabulous and you've been missed. Oh, and one more thing; don't make me worry. It's not a good look for me. :)

Monday, September 12, 2005

If Only It Were Real... Posted by Picasa

This is What I'd Do! Posted by Picasa

Still The One Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 09, 2005

"Don't Forget About the Licorice"

Okay, before I give my pidgin lesson for the day, I'm going to give out the thank you hugs and kisses. So line up...

Thank you everyone. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for such a great day. Your calls, emails, thoughts of warm wishes just made my day. I felt everyone's love from the get-go. Well, everyone except my husband.

Now, don't get me wrong. You all know that I absolutely adore Charlie. He's my sun, my moon, my stars, my endless sea. I KNOW without question that he feels the same way about me. But, his plate these days, is not only full, it is spilling over. He has to deal with his mother's issues. Along with his mother's issues come his sisters' issues, which always relate back to his mother's issues. He's been on pins and needles for the last couple of months as to whether he's going to lose his job since they've been promising mass layoffs at his company. Our finances suck (as always) and we never can seem to see the light at the end of the tunnel. With kids, hospital visits, cars breaking down, toilets overflowing, the last thing he said to me before he fell asleep on Wednesday night was; "I need to go fishing so I can catch a fucking break..." So yesterday morning, when he left for work without saying "Happy Birthday," and when I didn't receive a phone call all day, I just figured his head was too full of life's crap and he forgot. So, I began making my own plans.

My first call of the day came from the beautiful Auburn Pisces. She helped to calm me down. I had just come home from dropping the kids off at school and had nearly been broadsided by a speeding car that ran a red light. The driver was completely oblivious. Thank God a neighbor who was stopped honked his horn which got my attention and I stopped even though I had the green arrow. Had I not stopped, I'm quite sure my birthdate would have also been the "out" date on my gravestone.

As I relayed this story to AP, I told her that I couldn't stop thinking about my underwear. "WHAT?" She responded. I just figured that since she had a funny story about Toddy's grandpa underwear, she ought to have a story about my "religeous" underpants as well. You see, I don't get out of my jammies when I drive the kids to school. No one's gonna see me, and I never get out of the car. I just drive through the student parking lot with the hundreds of other cars, Caris and the Grommet get out, and I drive off. It's 7:30 in the morning, and I don't need to be at work until 10:00, so why get dressed until I have to? And no, I don't care if other moms I know see me. I'm not one of "those" moms, and I don't care what they think. I stopped caring what they think a long damn time ago.

Now, I thought, it wouldn't have been so bad to have an accident in my jammies. And it might not be all that big a deal that my hair and teeth were both unbrushed. What would have really sucked is that I had on my nasty, holey panties. The kind of panties you save for when Aunt Flo visits. AP is laughing her head off as I'm thanking the gods and goddesses that I didn't have an accident not because it's my birthday, but because I have on nasty panties. This morning, when it was time to take the kids to school, I changed into pretty panties. Just in case.

As AP and I talked, she asked me what I wanted for my birthday. I told her that I was hoping for some birthday sex, but it didn't look like I was gonna get any because: 1) I think Charlie forgot, and 2) I think Charlie has too much on his plate and I don't want to bother him with my desire to throw him on the floor and have my way with him.

"Sister," She said, "If I thought Charlie would still be my friend after, I'd come down there and give you birthday lovin' like you've never had before."

"What are you waiting for?" I responded. "It would probably take the pressure off of him to perform!"

I think she thinks I was joking.

Ah well, she ended our conversation with warm, birthday wishes and it was now time for me to get ready for work. When I got there, a beautiful bouquet of tropical flowers was on my desk. Gorgeous anthuriums (my kids call "Little Boy" flowers), orchids, torch ginger and ti leaves. My boss is the best. Inside the card he wrote: "We're so glad your life path led you to us. We hope you find happiness here." Indeed, I have.

After work, I decided to just go straight to the pub, I tried calling Charlie two or three times, but I kept getting his voicemail, so I left him a messages telling him where I'd be and that he could join me later if he'd like. I called my friend Nancy and asked her to come have a birthday drink with me. As I walked in, I got tons of birthday hugs from the owner and some of the staff. Then I went out on the patio and waited for Nancy.

When I got to our regular table, there was a beautiful bouquet of happy, little daisies inside of a GIANT margarita glass. I'm not kidding you, it was complete with limes and what appeared to be an actual margarita in the glass. The water was that beautiful lemon-lime green that makes me salivate. No, it wasn't really a margie, but it was the cutest damn thing I had ever seen. I was especially surprised that they had been delivered to the pub, though I probably shouldn't have been...it seems my sister knows me pretty well. When I opened the card, the inscription read: "Aino'kea, u fakka u." For those of you not in the know when it comes to the island's pidgin english, if you sound it out slowly, you'll get it. This was our family mantra when I was back home last month. It basically means: I don't care, you fucker you. It's what you say when you're not gonna let ANYTHING bother you. Your car dies, your finances suck, someone tries to broadside you while you're in your nasty panties, you're 45 years old.."Oh yeah? Well, I don't care you fucker you! I laughed so hard, I cried. And then I called my sister and told her how much I loved her, and we laughed together.

When Nancy showed up, Charlie was not far behind her. He apparantely had taken off work early, and he informed me, (after I told him that I thought he'd forgotten), that he had made reservations to surprise me. But by the time he'd finally called, I was already about to enjoy my first drink at the pub. He said I should know better, that he would never forget. Ah well, I was at my favorite place, with my favorite people, and soon, a couple of more favorite people would arrive. Charlie gave me a card with a one dollar bill enclosed and a beautiful sentiment about how I could "redeem" that dollar when we got home. Uh-huh. "We'll see." I winked at him. I know it hasn't been easy, but I do miss him. I miss us. Still, it was fun to laugh about our lack of "fun time" lately with all of the crap going on in our world. It's understandable, but dammit, relief is in order!

When our friends Ron and Henry arrived, the party just continued. For HOURS, we sat on the patio; ate, drank, and laughed. The servers brought over some birthday shots, and I was feeling the love. There's something about those shots with deliciously anatomical names that just sets the party mood. When it was time to go, Ron intercepted the bill and Charlie and Henry started throwing money at him, and he shoo-ed them away. The problem is, he shoo'ed them away BEFORE he looked at the bill. Now remember, Nancy, Charlie, and I were there for 2 hours before Ron arrived. While we were waiting, Charlie enjoyed a couple plates of oysters and scallops, Nancy and I shared an appetizer sampler platter, quite a few drinks were downed, and then of course, Ron and Henry arrived hungry and ordered more food, oblivious to the fact that we had been on a tour of the menu first. Until of course, the bill arrived. I think Ron had a small coronary when he actually took a look at the monstrous bill. Even then, he refused to take any contribution toward that beast. So Ron-O, thank you my friend, I love you very much. Even without you picking up the tab, you know my birthday just wouldn't have been my birthday without you there. I think you know that you are one of the most treasured gifts of my life. One of the best things that happened to me when I married your friend, is that I got you as part of the package.

So we said our goodnights, gave our goodbye hugs and kisses, and headed home. Since we arrived in separate cars, I had time to reflect on the evening and smiled. I also thought ahead about redeeming my birthday dollar with Charlie when I got home, and I smiled more. When I got home, Charlie was already lounging on the bed, and kids were coming in and our of our bedroom to ask how my birthday was and giving me their own birthday hugs. As much as I wanted to talk to them, I wanted to get moving to the rest of the "presents" and tried to move them out. After all, it was late and they had school tomorrow *wink* *wink*. They said their goodnights to Charlie and Averie was the last one out the door, grabbing Ellie Belly on the way. As she exited, Charlie said to her "Don't forget about the licorice."


Averie looked at me, and I looked over at Charlie.....who was now snoring. It appeared he was talking in his sleep. Averie started to laugh, left the room saying "Yeah Daddy, I'll go get that licorice right now..." and Charlie woke himself with one of his own snore-snorts. It was pretty obvious that my fuck-buck redemption opportunity had expired. Hmmm..what can I say? "Aino'kea, you fakka you!"

I wonder what Auburn Pisces is doing this weekend? :)

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Because I Can...

Today I will be blind to the mountains of laundry on my garage floor.

Today I will be deaf to complaints and whining.

Today I will not hear the death throes of my poor, old van.

Today I will be ignorant that one serving of Skosh Monahan's chocolate mousse has more calories than everything I've eaten in one week put together.

Today I will have suddenly forgotten how to wash a dish.

Today the toilet that flowed over last night will just wait until tomorrow for the plumber to come and fix it.

Today I won't fret about ailing in-laws.

Today I will have Margaritas made with Cabo Wabo tequila and not worry about the price.

Today I will tell myself I am beautiful and I will believe it.

Today I will wear plumerias in my hair.

Today a hug from my children will be more welcome than any expensive gift could ever be.

Today a number will not bother me because it just means I've been blessed enough to have:

A healthy family that generates laundry, dishes, a few complaints and whining, and lots of hugs.

An extra bathroom in my house.

A mother-in-law who adores me and thinks I'm wonderful.

A car that still runs.

Cabo Wabo Margaritas and Skosh's Chocolate Mousse to share with a few special friends. Or not share. :)

My own plumeria plant that gives me fragrant flowers for my hair.

A husband that tells me that I'm beautiful every, single day.

Today I am 45. And I will enjoy it. Because I can.

Monday, September 05, 2005


Uncle! I give up! I concede! White flag flying! MERCY!

No, I have no idea who I'm sending these messages of surrender to. I'm not really sure there's anyone out in the cosmos listening. But I'm pretty much at my wit's end. Yes, I know there are those out there suffering more. I've sent my warm thoughts and I've put my money where my mouth and heart are. I know things could be worse and I've said all of these very things to my beautiful girl. Yet those things are not much comfort when you've already spent the last two weekends in the hospital emergency room.

That's right folks. Poor Averie not only still has stitches in her foot from the sewing needle fiasco...she had an emergency appendectomy at 1 AM Saturday morning. This after we rushed her to the ER on Friday afternoon at 5:30. Hours and hours later, after much pain, poking, prodding, testing, CATScans, they wheeled her into surgery while Charlie, Jason, and I waited. Finally, at 3:30 AM, after she was safely out of surgery and recovery, we could breathe a sigh of relief (for me, I lost it in a mess of tears).

Now that she's home and we've spent our holiday weekend at the hospital, I can take a little survey. How many of you think:

A. Pua should go down to Averie's place of employment and kick some ass. OR
B. Pua should go down to Averie's place of employment and kick some ass. OR perhaps..
C. Pua should go down to Averie's place of employment and kick some ass.

Okay, now that we've got that behind us, let me explain....On Friday afternoon, I'd just gotten home from work at 3:30-ish, and I was waiting for Charlie to get home. As a family, we were planning to go to the first high school football game of the year. The phone rings, Caris answers, and she hands the phone to me and says "It's Daddy. He sounds 'not right'." I get on the phone and Charlie tells me that he's just received a call from Averie at 4:00. She's at work and she says she's in a great deal of pain and explained her symptoms to him. He advises her to leave work immediately and get home or call home and have me go and get her because it sounds to him like she's having what appears to be appendicitis. He tells me to wait for her and that he's on his way home as well. It's 4:15. I wait. Either for a call from Averie, or to see her pull up in the driveway. It's 5:00. Neither the call has come, nor the girl arrived home.

Finally at 5:15, she drives up and I go out to meet her. She's nearly doubled over and can barely walk without crying. I asked her why it took her so long or why she didn't call me to pick her up. She told me between tears that when she told the studio owner's nephew (who was in charge that day) that she was in a lot of pain and that her dad told her to come home because she might have appendicitis, he told her to finish clearing paint and tables before she left. In essence, he made her finish her shift before she left. We were in the emergency room by 5:30.

Now, there have been many occassions where I've wanted to go down there and go "Mama Bear" on these asshats. But I know that Averie is an adult now and that I need to let her fight her own battles. Especially when it comes to her employers. However, I feel that this is a different situation. This jerk, the owner's nephew, is a lazy-ass SOB who gets paid more than he should for doing nothing just because he's a relative. He takes advantage of the minimum wage staff, making them do all the work while he sits around and does nothing. He arrives late for his shifts IF he arrives at all, and he never gets in trouble because..yep, he's the owner's nephew. Up to this point, I've never stepped in. Even when they've screwed her of tips. Even when they've tried to take her commissions away from her for side artwork that she does. Even when they've overworked her and underpaid her. Even when they've been unkind to her for no reason. I've stayed out of it. But now, they've put my child's health and life in danger and I feel I have every right in the world to go down there and tell the owner what an asshole her nephew is. There are just some things that a mother needs to do.

This is one of them.

Friday, September 02, 2005

7 Things

Even though I haven't been able to post regularly, I can't ignore yet another meme. I still owe Christianresponse on his meme, and I owe LOTS of beautiful souls at least a visit. Slow but sure, that's how I'm looking at things these days. Until I get caught up (yeah, right!), these are the things I'm thinking about...

7 things I plan to do before I die:

1. Get to know my recently found brothers, sisters, and parents REALLY well.
2. Swim naked in the Aegean Sea with my husband.
3. Start a business with Charlie.
4. Not be rich, but have enough money that we don't worry so damn much.
5. Lose enough weight that I'd actually get a second glance.
6. Live to see ALL of my children realize their dreams.
7. Write a book

7 things I can do:

1. Sing in public (AFTER #5)
2. Write
3. Tie DOUBLE knots in cherry stems with my tongue.
4. Call and order a pizza
5. Drink tequila like it's water
6. Ask where the bathroom is in 5 languages
7. Make my family laugh

7 things I cannot do:

1. Lose 100 pounds overnight
2. Say no
3. Believe that I'm ok just the way I am
4. Paint my own toenails
5. Be 29 again
6. Keep my mouth shut when someone is being unkind to someone I love
7. Drink Jose Cuervo (it's NOT real tequila)

7 things that attract me to the opposite sex:

1. Brown eyes
2. Sense of humor
3. Kind soul
4. Willing spirit
5. Hot motorcycle
6. Looks beyond the "packaging"
7. Listens

7 things that I say most often:

1. Uh, Hullloooo...
2. Yeah, So?
3. Is there blood?
4. Did someone feed the dog?
5. I love you.
6. You're welcome.
7. Who did this?

7 celebrity crushes:

1. Brendan Shanahan
2. Alan Rickman
3. Tom Selleck
4. Ellen Degeneres
5. Keifer Sutherland
6. Portia DeRossi
7. Brendan Shanahan (he's worth two spaces)

7 people I would like to do this (if they haven't already):

1. Wayne
2. Christian
3. Aub
4. Toddy
5. Susan
6. Stuart
7. Matt